Among the many requirements of this process is a set of reference letters from people who know us, and who have seen how we interact with children. This has left us humbled by some of our closest friends who have opened up and touched us with their generous and kind words, while they too join in the excitement of us building a family. We cannot be more grateful for these individuals (you know who you are).
Additionally, it was preferred that one reference letter come from a pastor or a minister. For this, we sought out the minister that performed our marriage, the Dean of the Episcopal church. Understandably so, he requested to meet with us before writing his reference letter. Sitting over a delicious lunch, he asked us to tell him about ourselves. While I shifted uncomfortably in my seat thinking about how to proceed, Kathleen offered the suggestion that we describe each other... she explains me and I her. This made me feel slightly more at ease, seeing how I find talking about Kathleen easier than talking about myself. But then again... where do I even start? This was just a lunch visit, we didn't have all day!
I explained Kathleen's nurturing personality, and how she assumes the role of caregiver in so many of her relationships. I explained how this would make her a very fit mother. I explained how she puts so much of her heart in her actions, whether it be caring for her nieces, volunteering as a midwife in Senegal, or just stopping to talk to a stranger and wish them a good day. But what I really want to share here today is an idea that came to me at the end of our chat.
I realized that there is a beautiful analogy to be made between the role that a woman plays in the making of a traditional, biological family, and the role that Kathleen has assumed in our process to adopt. If you've been reading the blog, you already know about the ocean of paperwork and bureaucracy involved in this process. In many cases, just procuring the documents we need takes multiple contacts with multiple agencies. Additionally, if you look back, you'll see that all the blog posts are hers. What I'm getting at here, is that even though our family will not be directly built through the miracle of childbirth, there is still a long, arduous gestation period before we are home with our little one(s). That takes a lot of work and worry, and our gestation does not move along with inaction. I am so proud of Kathleen who has made it her full-time job to keep this process moving forward and hopefully make our dreams a reality. Much love, Poni.